15 By chanting, one associates with the Lord directly

By Chanting, One Associates With The Lord Directly

We can associate with Krsna through His vibrational presence:

Some people complain that when they pray to God they do not feel His presence. We should know that this is due to our incapacities, not God’s. There are two conceptions of presence−the physical conception and the vibrational conception. The physical conception is temporary, whereas the vibrational conception is eternal. When we enjoy or relish the vibration of Krsna’s teachings in Bhagavad−gita, or when we chant Hare Krsna, we should know that by those vibrations He is immediately present. He is absolute, and because of this His vibration is just as important as His physical presence. When we feel separation from Krsna or the spiritual master, we should just try to remember their words of instructions, and we will no longer feel that separation. Such association with Krsna and the spiritual master should be association by vibration, not physical presence. That is real association. We put so much stress on seeing, but when Krsna was present on this earth, so many people saw Him and did not realize that He is God; so what is the advantage of seeing? By  seeing Krsna, we will not understand Him, but by listening carefully to His teachings, we can come to the platform of understanding. We can touch Krsna immediately by sound vibration; therefore we should give more stress to the sound vibration of Krsna and of the spiritual master−then we’ll feel happy and won’t feel separation.

– Elevation to Krsna Consciousness

The devotee associates with the Lord through His sacred representation, the holy name:

Sound is the representation of the actual object, as the sound produced speaking of the object gives an idea of the description of the object. Therefore sound is the subtle characteristic of the object. Similarly, sound representation of the Lord, in terms of His characteristics, is the complete form of the Lord, as was seen by Vasudeva and Maharaja Dasaratha, the fathers of Lord Krsna and Lord Rama. The sound representation of the Lord is nondifferent from the Lord Himself because the Lord and His representation in sound are absolute knowledge. Lord Caitanya has instructed us that in the holy name of the Lord, as sound representation of the Lord, all the potencies of the Lord are invested. Thus one can immediately enjoy the association of the Lord by the pure vibration of the sound representation of His holy name, and the concept of the Lord is immediately manifested before the pure devotee. A pure devotee, therefore, is not aloof from the Lord even for a moment. The holy name of the Lord, as recommended in the sastras

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

may therefore be constantly chanted by the devotee aspiring to be constantly in touch with the Supreme Lord. One who is thus able to associate with the Lord is sure to be delivered from the darkness of the created world, which is a product of false ego (tamasi ma jyotir gama).

– Srimad Bhagavatam 2.5.25

We can realize the presence of Krsna through sound:

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

is a sound (sabda) that is nondifferent from Krsna. The sound Krsna and the original Krsna are the same. When we chant Hare Krsna and dance, Krsna is also dancing with us. Of course we may say, “Well, I do not see Him,” but why do we put so much stress on seeing? Why not hearing? Seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, and hearing are all instruments for experience and knowledge. Why do we put such exclusive stress on seeing? A devotee does not wish to see Krsna; he is satisfied by simply hearing of Krsna. Seeing may eventually be there, but hearing should not be considered any less important. There are things which we hear but do not see−the wind may be whistling past our ears, and we can hear it, but there is no possibility of seeing the wind. Since hearing is no less an importantexperience or valid one than seeing, we can hear Krsna and realize His presence through sound. Sri Krsna Himself says, “I am not there in My abode, or in the heart of the meditating yogi, but where My pure devotees are singing.” We can feel the presence of Krsna as we actually make progress.

– Raja vidya: The King of Knowledge

The Lord can be realized and worshiped through His transcendental sound representation:

[Narada Muni to Srila Vyasadeva]: Thus he is the actual seer who worships, in the form of transcendental sound representation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, who has no material form. 

Our present senses are all made of material elements, and therefore they are imperfect in realizing the transcendental form of Lord Visnu. He is therefore worshiped by sound representation via the transcendental method of chanting. Anything which is beyond the scope of experience by our imperfect senses can be realized fully by the sound representation. A person transmitting sound from a far distant place can be factually experienced. If this is materially possible, why not spiritually? This experience is not a vague impersonal experience. It is actually an experience of the transcendental Personality of Godhead, who possesses the pure form of eternity, bliss and knowledge…The transcendental form of eternal bliss and knowledge can be experienced by our original spiritual senses, which can be revived by chanting the holy mantras, or transcendental sound representations.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.38

By chanting the holy name, we can have the Lord’s association:

One should ask that the grace of the Lord always be present on earth so that we may be favored with His causeless mercy and be happy, having all necessities of life. One may ask how we can detain the Supreme Lord on this earth after His mission is fulfilled and He has left this earth for His own abode. The answer is that there is no need to detain the Lord. The Lord, being omnipresent, can be present with us if we want Him at all. By His omnipresence, He can always be with us if we are attached to His devotional service by hearing, chanting, remembering, etc.

There is nothing in the world with which the Lord is disconnected. The only thing we must learn is to excavate the source of connection and thus be linked with Him by offenseless service. We can be connected with Him by the transcendental sound representation of the Lord. The holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself are identical, and one who chants the holy name of the Lord in an offenseless manner can at once realize that the Lord is present before him. Even by the vibration of radio sound, we can partially realize sound relativity, and by resounding the sound of transcendence we can verily feel the presence of the Lord.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.32−33

Krsna gives us His association through His holy name:

We should always remember that if we can keep ourselves always in company with Krsna, we shall attain all perfection. And especially in this age, Krsna has incarnated as the holy name (kali−kale nama−rupe krsna avatara, Sri Caitanya−caritamrta Adi−lila 17.22). Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:

namnam akari bahudha nija−sarva−saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah

“My dear Lord, You are so kind that You are giving me Your association in the form of Your holy name, and this holy name can be chanted in any situation.” 

There are no hard and fast rules for chanting Hare Krsna. One can chant Hare Krsna anywhere. Children, for example, also chant and dance. It is not at all difficult. While walking, our students take their beads with them and chant. Where is the loss? But the gain is very great for by chanting we associate with Krsna personally. Suppose we were to associate personally with the President. How proud we would feel. “Oh, I am with the President.” So should we not feel very much proud if we were to associate with the supreme president, who is able to create many millions of presidents like those of this world? This chanting is our opportunity to do so. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi: “My dear Lord, You are so kind to me that You are always prepared to give me Your association.”

– Teachings of Queen Kunti

By chanting the holy name one associates with God, acquires godly qualities, and becomes an associate of the Lord:

Because God is absolute, His name, His form, and His qualities are also absolute, and they are nondifferent from Him. Therefore to chant God’s holy name means to associate directly with Him. When one associates with God, one acquires godly qualities, and when one is completely purified, one becomes an associate of the Supreme Lord.

– The Science of Self Realization

By chanting the maha mantra, one can associate with Krsna directly:

Krsna tells Arjuna to always remain in Krsna consciousness. This is possible through the chanting of Hare Krsna. Since Krsna and His spiritual kingdom are nondifferent, being absolute, Krsna and His sound vibration are the same. Simply by vibrating Krsna’s name, we can enjoy Krsna’s association. If we are walking down the street chanting Hare Krsna, Krsna is also going with us. If we walk down the street and look up at the sky, we may see that the sun or the moon is accompanying us. I can recall about fifty years ago, when I was a householder, my second son, who was about four years old at the time, was walking with me down the street, and he suddenly asked me, “Father, why is the moon going with us?” If a material object like the moon has the power to accompany us, we can surely understand that the Supreme Lord, who is all−powerful, can always remain with us. Being omnipotent, He can always keep us company, provided that we are also qualified to keep His company. Pure devotees are always merged in the thought of Krsna and are always remembering that Krsna is with them. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has confirmed the absolute nature of Krsna in His Siksastaka (verse 2):

namnam akari bahudha nija−sarva−saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
tadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah

“My Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, in Your holy name there is all good fortune for the living entity, and therefore You have many names, such as Krsna and Govinda, by which You expand Yourself. You have invested all Your potencies in those names, and there are no hard−and−fast rules for remembering them. My dear Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon the fallen, conditioned souls by liberally teaching Your holy names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offenses while chanting the holy name, and therefore I do not achieve attachment for chanting.”

 We may take the effort to spend a great deal of money and attempt to build or establish a temple for Krsna, but if we do so we must observe many rules and regulations and see properly to the temple’s management. But herein it is confirmed that simply by chanting, any man can have the benefit of keeping company with Krsna. Just as Arjuna is deriving benefit by being in the same chariot with Lord Sri Krsna, we can also benefit by associating with Krsna through the chanting of His holy names

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This maha mantra is not my personal concoction but is authorized by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is considered to be not only an authority but the incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna Himself. It was Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu who said, “O Lord, You are so kind to the people of this material world that You expand Yourself in Your holy name so that they can associate with You.”

– The Path of Perfection

While performing devotional service, the devotee remembers the supremacy of the Lord and associates with the Lord by repeating His transcendental names:

[Narada Muni to Srila Vyasadeva]: While performing duties according to the order of Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one constantly remembers Him, His names and His qualities.

An expert devotee of the Lord can mold his life in such a way that while performing all kinds of duties either for this or the next life, he can constantly remember the Lord’s name, fame, qualities, etc. The order of the Lord is distinctly there in the Bhagavad−gita: one should work only for the Lord in all spheres of life. In every sphere of life the Lord should be situated as the proprietor… No one else but Lord Sri Krsna can claim to be the proprietor of everything within His creation. A pure devotee remembers this constantly, and in doing so he repeats the transcendental name, fame and qualities of the Lord, which means that he is constantly in touch with the Lord. The Lord is identical with His name, fame, etc., and therefore to be associated with His name, fame, etc., constantly, means actually to associate with the Lord.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.36

The performer of offenseless kirtana has positive association with the Lord:

[Sukadeva Gosvami prays]: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the all−auspicious Lord Sri Krsna, about whom glorification, remembrances, audience, prayers, hearing and worship can at once cleanse the effects of all sins of the performer.

The devotees need not be disappointed in the physical absence of the Lord, though they may think of not being associated with Him. The devotional process of chanting, hearing, remembering, etc. (either all or some of them, or even one of them), can give us the desired  result of associating with the Lord by discharging the transcendental loving service of the Lord in the above manner. Even the very sound of the holy name of Lord Krsna or Lord Rama can at once surcharge the atmosphere spiritually. We must know definitely that the Lord is present wherever such pure transcendental service is performed, and thus the performer of offenseless kirtana has positive association with the Lord.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 2.4.15

By chanting, one associates with Krsna:

The same thing is confirmed in the Adi Purana by Krsna. While addressing Arjuna He says, “Anyone who is engaged in chanting My transcendental name must be considered to be always associating with Me. And I may tell you frankly that for such a devotee I become easily purchased.”

– The Nectar of Devotion

Being deeply touched by a strong desire for Krsna’s association, a pure devotee always chants the maha mantra:

It was Sanatana Gosvami who later composed this verse:

na prema sravanadi−bhaktir api va yogo ‘thava vaisnavo
jnanam va subha−karma va kiyad aho saj−jatir apy asti va
hinarthadhika−sadhake tvayi tathapy acchedya−mula sati
he gopijanavallabha vyathayate ha ha madasaiva mam

“I am poor in love of Godhead, and I have no asset for hearing about devotional service. Nor do I have any understanding of the science of devotional service, nor any cultivation of knowledge, nor any righteous activities to my credit. I am not even born in a high family. Nonetheless, O darling of the damsels of Vraja, I still maintain hopes of achieving You, and these hopes are always disturbing me.” Such a devotee, being touched deeply by such strong desires, always chants 

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

– Teachings of Lord Caitanya

One can come into contact with Krsna immediately by hearing His holy name:

Krsna consciousness is a method for connecting directly with the Supreme. This is the special gift of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Not only is this method direct and immediate, but it is also practical. Although many people entering this Society have no qualifications, they have become highly advanced in Krsna consciousness simply by coming in contact with the Society. In this age, life is very short, and a yoga process that takes a long time will not help the general populace. In Kali−yuga, people are all so unfortunate, and association is very bad. Therefore, this process of directly contacting the Supreme is recommended−hari−nama. Krsna is present in the form of His transcendental name, and we can contact Him immediately by hearing His name. Simply by hearing the name Krsna we immediately become freed from material contamination.

– The Path of Perfection

Because Krsna’s name is nondifferent from Himself, when one chants he immediately comes into contact with Krsna:

Lord Caitanya prayed:

namnam akari bahudha nija−sarva−saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah
(Siksastaka 2)

Krsna, the transcendental holy name of God, has all potencies, Lord Caitanya said. Krsna has unlimited potencies, and similarly in the holy name of Krsna there are unlimited potencies. Krsna has thousands and thousands of names, of which the name Krsna is the chief, and there are no hard and fast rules for chanting. It is not that one must chant at a certain time. No. At any time one may chant. Furthermore, Krsna’s name is identical with Krsna Himself. Therefore the holy name of Krsna is Krsna.We should not think that Krsna is living in His abode, Goloka Vrndavana, and that His name is different from Him. In the material world, of course, in the material conception, a name is different from the fact it represents. But in the absolute world there are no such differences. The name is as potent as Krsna is. We have a tongue, and if we use this tongue to chant Hare Krsna, we shall immediately come directly in touch with Krsna, because the name Krsna and the person Krsna are not different. We may think that Krsna is far, far away, but in fact Krsna is within us. He is far away, but at the same time He is the nearest. But even if we think that Krsna is far, far away, His name is present. We can chant Hare Krsna, and Krsna will immediately become available. Krsna is available in this easy way, for which there are no hard and fast rules. We can chant at any time and immediately get Krsna. Just see the mercy of Krsna!

– Teachings of Queen Kunti

Because the Lord and His holy name are identical, when a pure devotee chants, the Lord is immediately present:

After due consideration, all the devotees began chanting the holy name congregationally. Lord Caitanya’s mind was thus pacified by the ecstasy of the chanting. 

Being absolute, Lord Jagannatha is identical in person, form, picture, kirtana and all other circumstances. Therefore when Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, He was pacified. Previously, He had been feeling very morose due to separation from Jagannatha. The conclusion is that whenever a kirtana of pure devotees takes place, the Lord is immediately present. By chanting the holy names of the Lord, we associate with the Lord personally.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 1.126

By hearing the maha mantra, one can always feel the presence of the Lord:

There is a statement about hearing and chanting the maha mantra: “It is said that saints have been able to hear the vibrating strings of the vina in the hands of Narada, who is always singing the glories of Lord Krsna. Now this same sound vibration has entered my ears, and I am always feeling the presence of the Supreme Personality. Gradually I am becoming bereft of all attachment for material enjoyment.”

– The Nectar of Devotion

Krsna is easily attainable by chanting Hare Krsna:

Krsna consciousness means always living with Krsna in His spiritual planet. Because we are conscious of Krsna, we are already living with Him. We simply have to wait to give up this material body to go there. For one who remembers Krsna without deviation, He is easy to obtain. Tasyaham sulabhah partha: “I become very cheap for them.” For one who takes to Krsna consciousness, the most valuable thing becomes very easy to obtain. Because one is engaged in bhakti−yoga, Krsna becomes easily available. Why should we try so hard to attain Krsna, when Krsna Himself says, “I am easy to obtain”? We have only to chant

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

twenty−four hours daily. There is no fast rule and regulation. We can chant in the street or on the subway, in our home or in our office. There is neither expenditure nor tax.

– The Path of Perfection

Krsna, being attracted, appears Himself in His glorification:

[Narada Muni to Srila Vyasadeva]: The Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, whose glories and activities are pleasing to hear, at once appears on the seat of my heart, as if called for, as soon as I begin to chant His holy activities.

The Absolute Personality of Godhead is not different from His transcendental name, form, pastimes and the sound vibrations thereof. As soon as a pure devotee engages himself in the pure devotional service of hearing, chanting and remembering the name, fame and activities of the Lord, at once He becomes visible to the transcendental eyes of the pure devotee by reflecting Himself on the mirror of the heart by spiritual television. Therefore a pure devotee who is related with the Lord in loving transcendental service can experience the presence of the Lord at every moment. It is a natural psychology in every individual case that a person likes to hear and enjoy his personal glories enumerated by others. That is a natural instinct, and the Lord, being also an individual personality like others, is not an exception to this psychology because psychological characteristics visible in the individual souls are but reflections of the same psychology in the Absolute Lord. The only difference is that the Lord is the greatest personality of all and absolute in all His affairs. If, therefore, the Lord is attracted by the pure devotee’s chanting of His glories, there is nothing astonishing. Since He is absolute, He can appear Himself in the picture of His glorification, the two things being identical. Srila Narada chants the glorification of the Lord not for his personal benefit but because the glorifications are identical with the Lord. Narada Muni penetrates into the presence of the Lord by the transcendental chanting.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.33

Lord Krsna is personally present in offenseless chanting:

[Suta Gosvami to the sages at Naimisaranya]: Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.

Messages of the Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna are nondifferent from Him. Whenever, therefore, offenseless hearing and glorification of God are undertaken, it is to be understood that Lord Krsna is present there in the form of transcendental sound, which is as powerful as the Lord personally. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in His Siksastaka, declares clearly that the holy name of the Lord has all the potencies of the Lord and that He has endowed His innumerable names with the same potency. There is no rigid fixture of time, and anyone can chant the holy name with attention and reverence at his convenience. The Lord is so kind to us that He can be present before us personally in the form of transcendental sound.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.17

When a devotee chants Hare Krsna, Krsna and His internal potency are dancing on his tongue:

One who is engaged in Lord Krsna’s devotional service lives in a direct relationship with the Supreme Lord, so there is no doubt that his position is transcendental from the very beginning. A devotee does not live on the material plane−he lives in Krsna. The holy name of the Lord and the Lord are nondifferent; therefore when a devotee chants Hare Krsna, Krsna and His internal potency are dancing on the tongue of the devotee.

– Bhagavad gita As It Is 12.8


Author: ISKCON Desire Tree

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